First-Half Struggles Too Much To Overcome As Panthers Fall
Jordan Aaron

Jordan Aaron

Jan. 21, 2014

Box Score

DAYTON, Ohio - Jerran Young scored 19 points and Wright State rode a big first half performance to a 73-57 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Tuesday night at the Nutter Center.

The Raiders (13-9, 5-2 Horizon) built a 39-21 halftime lead and never let the Panthers (13-8, 3-4) get closer than nine points in the second half.

Milwaukee could not get its offense on track in the first half, as the Panthers shot just 25 percent from the field. UWM improved in the second 20 minutes, making 14-of-24 from the floor, but the Panthers could never get over the hump.

Kyle Kelm had 16 point and Jordan Aaron 15 for Milwaukee, which also got a strong, nine-point performance from Thierno Niang off the bench. The Panthers were slowed by foul trouble, as Matt Tiby, Malcolm Moore and J.J. Panoske sat much of the first half with two fouls. Moore eventually fouled out with nine minutes remaining, having only played eight minutes.

A.J. Pacher (12) and Cole Darling (11) were the other two Raiders in double figures.

"We got some guys in foul trouble. We went deep into our bench in the first half. Clearly our rotations were off. And we were playing a team defensively that is very disciplined and very sound," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "That means we can't make a lot of mistakes, and we made way too many mistakes in that first half."

The Panthers returned to their inside-first game quickly in the second half, pounding it inside en route to making 13 of their 17 shots from inside the arc in the final 20 minutes. But the 18-point hole, against a team picked second in the league, in building they haven't won in since 2005, was too much to overcome.

"We played a much better second half. We got the ball inside. I thought we played a lot more determined, but we can't play 20 minutes of basketball in this league and think we're going to win a lot of games," Jeter said. "We're searching right now to get back to our identity and stick to that. We need our bench to step up and we need our starters to play smarter minutes. Tonight, I thought it was difficult from the jump."

The Raiders opened the game by scoring 10 of the first 11 points of the contest. Milwaukee recovered to pull within 12-6 on an Aaron three with 14:10 remaining in the half.

UWM was still within 16-11 following a Kelm three-point play but Wright State answered to take control of the game before halftime. A three-pointer by Reggie Arceneaux pushed the lead to 25-13 and a three by A.J. Pacher made it 28-14.

A three-pointer by Niang brought Milwaukee to within 30-19 but the Raiders finished the half on a 9-2 run to go into the locker room leading 39-21.

The Panthers opened the second half with a flurry, closing to within 41-28 on a Kelm basket and then to within 43-34 on a follow-up basket by Tiby.

The Raiders weren't going to let Milwaukee get any closer, though, answering with the next six seven points to restore a 16-point advantage. The Panthers were then able to cut the deficit to 10 points but could never get any closer than that.

Milwaukee now plays four of its next five games at home, starting with a Friday night contest against Detroit. The game tips off at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Arena.



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